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Wind turbine giant Vestas to cut over 2,300 jobs

COPENHAGEN – The world leader in the wind turbine industry, Danish company Vestas, said on Thursday it would cut 2,335 jobs by the end of the year as part of a previously announced savings package.

“Vestas will reduce its fixed costs by more than 150 million euros ($190 million) – with full effect as from the end of 2012 – primarily through streamlining of support functions and closing of factories to align capacity with market demand,” it said in a statement.

“A total of 2,335 employees are expected to be made redundant,” it said.

In addition, the company said it may lay off an additional 1,600 people in the United States.

It said it was preparing for “a potential slowdown in the US in case the present Production Tax Credit (PTC) is not extended. This can result in (the) lay off of an additional 1,600 employees at plants in the US.”

Vestas last week issued a profit warning, saying sales for 2011 would be around 400 million euros ($522 million), lower than expected a few months ago, and that its expenses would be about 125 million euros, more than previously forecast due to higher production costs.

“Due to delays related to bad weather, customer conditions like grid connections and other disruptions, a number of projects under construction are not expected to be recognised as revenue until the first quarter of 2012,” the company explained on January 3.

The announcement, Vestas second profit warning in a matter of months, sent the company’s stock price plunging 19 percent on the Copenhagen exchange.

Vestas is scheduled to announce its full 2011 earnings report on February 8.

The company fell into the red in the third quarter, reporting a loss of 60 million euros compared to a profit of 187 million euros a year earlier.

It also announced at the time that it was abandoning its targets of 15 billion euros in revenue and an EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) margin of 15 percent in 2015.